Who doesn’t dream of going to Paris? I know I sure do but the odds of me going aren’t the greatest but that doesn’t mean I can’t live vicariously through Karen A. Chase as she takes me on a trip through Paris in her novel Bonjour 40: A Paris Travel Log (40 years, 40 days, 40 seconds). This trip was Karen’s present to herself for her fortieth birthday. She was going to go to Paris for 40 days to experience the food, art, and atmosphere to it’s fullest and that’s just what she does! This book is based on the blog that she kept while on her travels so she could keep everyone at home informed plus it was a perfect way of recording her memories – that and pictures, of course. As Karen herself said, ‘My days were filled with creating, writing, cycling, photographing, walking, learning, loving, and experiencing’ (pg 46). Really, could there be a better way to spend the big 4-0? I don’t think so.
This 40 day travel journey of Karen’s takes us through her days while she’s in Paris. She describes the places she visits and the people but best of all is the food. Oh, the food. I think I died and went to heaven just reading about it, let alone eating it. Her talk of the fresh breads and cheeses had me drooling as these are two of my most favorite things in the world. Then there is the coffee and pastries – more heaven. Of course Karen mentions that the French never seem to gain weight eating like this but as she points out they take a meal seriously. It is meant to be savored and enjoyed, therefore a meal lasts hours not minutes as it does us here in our end of the world. That and of course they walk a whole lot out there and apparently very quickly.
One place that Karen visited that I would love to see is a bookstore called Shakespeare and Company. It sounds simply divine for a book lover like me and so many of you. This description alone – ‘I don’t think you can call this simply a bookstore. It is a delightfully wild land of literary abandonment and insanity —a page-filled palace overflowing with words, phrases, novel writers, readers, and inspiration’. (pg 61) I know that Paris has so much for a person to experience but I’m not entirely sure I’d want to leave this bookstore. Another thing that I loved about Karen’s travel memoir was the pictures scattered throughout. For the reader it really made you feel more like you were there experiencing Paris with her.
This is a great travel log for people planning a trip to Paris or for those like me who may never get to go and can experience it through Karen. After reading Karen’s book I feel as though I would know what to expect if I were to take a trip to Paris. It’s a relatively short book at just 134 pages and they fly by because, of course, you’re anxious to know what she’ll be experiencing next. For Karen, renting an apartment there and living for 40 days with the love of her life coming out for the last 10 of those days turned out to be one of the best experiences of her life. It will certainly give her memories forever and what could be better than that!
Be sure to check out Karen’s website, blog, and you can find her on Facebook and Twitter as well. Bonjour 40 is available for purchase for your Kindle and your Nook. I’ll leave you now with the book trailer to enjoy…
I just happen to have an e-copy of Bonjour 40 by Karen A. Chase plus 1 – 5×7 prints of Karen’s photos up for giveaway. To enter…
- For 1 entry simply leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and please let me know so I can pass the extra entry on to you as well.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway and spread the word.
This giveaway is to US residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, January 7/12. Good luck everyone!
Source: Review copy received from author via publicist. No compensation was received for this review.